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Customer relationship management in the traditional retail banks in france

Customer Relationship Management in the traditional
retail banks in France

ELISE LIU
(1715690)

The dissertation is submitted in part-fulfilment of
the degree of Master in Business Administration in Finance

Dublin Business School and
Liverpool John Moores‟ University
2013

Date of submission: May 2013
Word count: 17 342 words


TABLE OF CONTENTS

LIST OF FIGURES


5

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

6

ABSTRACT

7

CHAPITRE 1: INTRODUCTION

8

1.1

Background to the study

9

1.1.1

The development of the IT system and banks

9

1.1.2

Evolution of the Internet banking in France

11

1.1.3

Evolution of relationship in the traditional retail banks

13

1.2


Research Objectives

14

1.3

Motivation for the study

15

1.4

Research questions

15

1.5

Research hypotheses

16

1.6

Approach to the Dissertation

16

1.7

Limitations of the research

17

1.8

Major contribution of the Study

17

1.9

Overview of the following chapters

18

CHAPITER 2 : LITERATURE REVIEW

19

2.1

What is a relationship?

20

2.2

Relationship Marketing

24

2.3

Customer Relationship Management

26

2.3.1

Objectives of CRM Systems

27

2.3.2

CRM as a strategy

29

2.3.3

CRM in banking sector

30

2.4

IT adoption and older adults

33

2.5

Service quality and CRM practice

35

2.6

Customer expectation

38

2.7

Customer satisfaction

39

2.8

Customer loyalty

41

2.9

Conclusion

42

CHAPTER 3: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY AND METHODS

2

43


3.1

Distinction between research method and methodology

44

3.2

Research philosophy

46

3.2.1

Positivism

47

3.2.2

Realism

47

3.2.3

Interpretivism

48

3.3

Research Approach

49

3.4

Research Choice

50

3.5

Research Strategy

51

3.6

Time Horizons

52

3.7

Data collection

53

3.7.1

Secondary data collection

53

3.7.2

Primary quantitative data collection

54

3.8

Data analysis

58

3.9

Ethical issues in data collection

59

3.10

Limitation of research

59

3.11

Conclusion

60

CHAPTER 4: DATA ANALYSIS AND FINDINGS

61

4.1

Quantitative data analysis and finding from the questionnaire

62

4.2

Background information about respondents

63

4.2.1

Demographic characteristics of the sample

63

4.2.2

Education level

65

4.2.3

How long have you been using your bank online (online banking) services? 66

4.2.4

Which support do you use the most to access online banking services?

67

4.2.5

How often do you use the online banking services, approximately?

68

4.2.6

The reason for the use of the Online banking services

69

4.3

Research objective 2: To assess the perception of online banking services from

French users towards the importance of physical contact at bank level.
4.4

70

Research objective 3: To analyse whether French people are ready to switch

from Click-and-Mortar to Pure player bank.

73

4.5

Hypotheses

75

4.5.1

H1: Customer relationship management increase the quality of online banking

services. 75
4.5.2

H2: Service quality enhance customer’s satisfaction

76

4.5.3

H3: Customer satisfaction positively impact on customer loyalty

78

4.6

Conclusion

79

3


CHAPTER 5: CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
5.1

81

Research Objective 1: To identify effectiveness gaps in use of online banking

services between older people and young people.
5.2

82

Research Objective 2: To assess the perception of French online banking

services users’ towards the importance of physical contact at bank level.
5.3

Research Objective 3: To analyse whether French people are ready to switch

from Click-and-Mortar to Pure Player.
5.4

83
84

Hypothesis 1: Customer relationship management increase the quality of

online banking services.

85

5.5

Hypothesis 2: Service quality enhance customer’s satisfaction

86

5.6

Hypothesis 3: Customer satisfaction positively impact on customer loyalty

86

CHAPTER 6: SELF REFLECTION AND LEARNING

90

6.1

Learning Styles

91

6.2

Learning outcomes and self-analysis during the learning process

94

6.2.1 Research and investigative skills

94

6.2.2

Team working skills

95

6.2.3

Communication Skills

96

6.2.4

Personal management skills

97

6.3

Plans to sustain learning

97

6.4

Conclusion

98

REFERECNES

100

APPENDICE

109

4


LIST OF FIGURES
Figure 2.1: The basic elements and conceptions of relationship

23

Figure 2.2: Relational and transactional customers

25

Figure 2.3: The components of customer relationship management (CRM)

27

Figure 2.4: CRM Strategic framework

29

Figure 2.5 Technology Acceptance Model

34

Figure 3.1. Research Methodology Sequence Structure

45

Figure 3.2. The research onion (Saunders et al., 2011)

46

Figure 4.1: Gender of the sample

63

Figure 4.2: Age of the sample

64

Figure 4.3: Education level

65

Figure 4.4: Time being online banking services user

66

Figure 4.5: Support to use the most to access online banking services

67

Figure 4.6: Frequency

68

Figure: 4.7: The reason for the use of online banking services

70

Figure 4.8: Satisfaction

71

Figure 4.9: Importance of direct human contact

72

Figure 4.10: Managing bank account only online

73

Figure 4.11: Being assigned a financial adviser only with long distance contact

74

Figure 4.12: Do you trust in the use of your bank website?

75

Figure 4.13: If your bank anticipates your needs and expectations, will you assess
it as a component to increase the service quality that your bank could offer you? 76
Figure 4.14: I am happy when my bank proposes financial products or services,
which are appropriate to me.

77

Figure 4.15: Will you switch banks for any reason, even when you are satisfied
with your actual bank?

78

5


ACKNOLEDGEMENTS

I would like to express my gratitude to the following for all their help throughout the
duration of this project.

To my supervisor Michael Kealy, who has always been there to provide
encouragement, guidance and critical evaluation throughout the course of this
research. Thanks also to all those who answered my questionnaires.

Finally, many thanks to my family and friends for their support and understanding
during the course the MBA.

6


ABSTRACT

Transparency, honesty, consideration, competence, proximity are the guarantees that
any company must provide to its customers. The banking sector is no exception to the
rule. In these difficult times of financial crisis, the relationship between financial
institutions and their customers is complicated dangerously. It is time to restore the
confidence between the two parties. Easier said than done, however, the task is not
simple. Furthermore, the explosion of media communication and new technologies is
another stone to put in an already difficult situation to build customer relationship.
Today, the multichannel management for traditional banks are a reality that
institutions cannot and should not ignore. Faced with intense competition, especially
the evolution of Internet banking, to put the customer in the centre has never been so
important. In order to achieve this, traditional banks must put the customer in the
centre of their strategy. They use marketing (relationship marketing) to redefine
information about current and potential customers to anticipate, respond and exceed to
their needs. This practice is known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM),
where the main objective is to help companies and financial institutes achieve and
sustain competitiveness.

The researcher intended to address this fact within this dissertation and to understand
whether the traditional retail banks are competitive towards the Internet banking and if
the CRM have a positive impact on the customer loyalty in traditional banking? The
study could contribute to the bank managers in France in order to help them in their
actual strategy and the orientation of their future strategy. However the study could
also be useful for bank managers in other countries.
7


CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION

8


CHAPITER 1
INTRODUCTION

This chapter will introduce the reader to the dissertation study and set the research in
context. The second section explains the aims of this study and Section 1.3 explains
the motivation for this study. Section 1.4 introduces the research questions while
Section 1.5 introduces the hypotheses. Section 1.6 presents the research approach.
Then follows the presentation of the limitation (Section 1.7) and major contribution
(Section 1.8) of the study. Finally, the last section of this chapter, Section 1.7, provides
an overview of the subsequent chapters.

1.1

Background to the study

1.1.1 The development of the IT system and banks
The new Information Technology (IT) is becoming an enabling feature in the
development of business growth and especially in the financial services industry
(Turban et al., 2012). The information technology develops gradually but effectively
on the banking area. In the first step, the implementation of voice service via phone
and fax, the latter was considered as the main and fastest way, which the customer
could access to their account. Secondly, and more specifically in France, the
establishment of telematics communication system "Minitel" offered a variety of
services to customers. The implementation of electronic services (ATM, call centre,
fax, so on) was benefit for both customer and bank (Chimote and Srivastava, 2011).
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Activity in the traditional banking sector has experienced an important transformation
of channels marketing of products and services. New contact channels have been
developed in order to create closer relationships between the customer and bank, and
contributed consequently to the strengthening of loyalty (Palmer, 2011) between the
customer and their financial institution. Thus, the overall strategy of financial
institutions was primarily and specifically, customer-oriented (Ennew and Waite,
2007). Consequently, this change will probably have a negative affect in the
profitability of financial institutions. It may be affected by operating expenses, notably
network operating expenses, which weigh heavily. To overcome this situation, banks
employ the new technologies, which expected to reduce the operating costs of
production and operating expenses (Turban et al., 2012).

The service sector and specifically the banking industry, is constantly evolving
(Omariba et al, 2012). Banks are one of the most innovators who follow and renovate
unceasingly their business, and takes advantages of the new technologies. Electronic
commerce and the Internet have brought radical changes to the banking sector, such as
the arrival of purely virtual institutions “Internet banking” (pure player) and online
banking services delivering by traditional bank though their website (click-andmortar). For twenty years, there has been in this field a remarkable technological
evolution, which has two objectives: to improve banking services in order to respond
carefully to various customer needs and finding ways to develop relationships with
their customer (Chimote and Srivastava, 2011).

It is in this way that all banks were determined to follow the IT renovators, and pooled
their effort in a strategic synergy. Indeed, the control and initiation in this
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sophisticated technology have become important in banking strategies. However, there
is an important competitiveness of banking market (Ramseook-Munhurrun and
Naidoo, 2011), which led banks to build criteria and differentiation between them.
Thus, the development of new technologies has been a major component for banks to
position themselves differently one to the others. The online banking services
proposed by the traditional banks is one of the most successful e-businesses
(Goodarzi, 2008). It allows customers managing their money on their bank website,
such as checking the balance, transferring money to a third party, payroll payments,
ordering cheques, and so on.

1.1.2 Evolution of the Internet banking in France
The Internet banking is in constant evolution over the past few years. According to
statistics from Eurostat (2013), which provide statistical information to the institutions
of the EU, found that the number of Internet banking users represented 54 per cent of
the Internet users in 2012 up from 18 per cent in 2006. 52 per cent of the people aged
16 to 24 (20 per cent in 2006), 63 per cent of 25 to 55 years old people (26 per cent in
2006) and 48 per cent of 55 to 74 years old (6 per cent in 2006) uses Internet.

Since 2006, the banking system in France has been transformed with Internet banking,
which is growing rapidly. For example, ING Direct, a leading pure player bank in
France, registered a new account of 76% growth in 2011. Pure players in the banking
sector are attracting more and more customers who are not satisfied with their
traditional bank or seeking to reduce their spending with the financial crisis. They find
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that choosing an online bank, allows them to pay less and get cheaper deals than
through their traditional agency. Not always satisfied with their banking institution,
French people start trusting more and more on Internet banking.

In 2011, more than two million French people have opened an account with a pure
player bank. The development of the Internet and mobile telephony leads the success
of the Internet banking. According to the world statistics, in December 2011, there was
2 267 million Internet users, which represents 32.7 per cent of the worldwide
population comparing to 5.8 per cent (300 million users) in 2000 (Omariba et al,
2012). Thus shows us that the Internet will still play an important role in the future.
Furthermore, compared to 2005 the Internet banking consumers almost doubled in
2011 (from 46 million to 72 million households). Therefore the Internet banking will
probably continue to growth and accelerate.

In addition, many French people are facing geographical mobility (i.e. businessmen
who work in international companies). This situation plays in a positive way for
Internet banking as those banks could meet the needs of all people who encounter
problems with the availability to go to a physical bank. Furthermore the use of Internet
banking allows those people managing their bank account anytime and anywhere. It
saves time and money. The only transactions that cannot be done online are cash
deposits and withdrawals.

12


1.1.3 Evolution of relationship in the traditional retail banks
In France, the two main challenges in the banking area are the threat of new entrants
and the increase of competition. The Internet banking rises the competitiveness inside
the banking markets. In order to be competitive most of the traditional retail banks
implement their own website delivering online services. Some use it as a major
competitive strategy and believe it is essential to be competitive (Turban et al., 2012).

The evolution of IT has changed the interaction mode between Bank and Customer.
Banks have gradually moved from face-to-face relationship to a faceless relationship
(Gummesson, 2002), for instance in the use of ATM and online banking services
proposed by the traditional banks such as new interaction by mail, online direct
communication (chatting) through customers‟ bank website account.

According to Gummesson (2002), the relationships are central for business people;
therefore, CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) has become an
imperative strategy in the banking area (Tamilarasan, 2011) in order to develop
interaction with customers to gain customer retention. Banks are the prime users of
CRM (Han-Yuh, 2007). The CRM is an important valuable asset for banks. Invest in
this relationship asset generates returns of long-term profit and also generates value for
shareholder. (Person, 2011)

13


1.2

Research Objectives

In the banking sector, there are traditionally three different channels: the traditional
retail branch that called brick-and-mortar, the click-and-mortar which activity is in
support of the Internet service and the virtual banks, pure player, which have no
physical location and has only online transactions (Turban et al, 2012). This study will
focus on the click-and-mortar, as today; most of banks have implemented their own
online services in the traditional banks. The researcher will investigate among people
using their bank website services in order to assess whether traditional retail banks are
competitive towards the Internet banking and if the CRM have a positive impact on
the customer loyalty in traditional banking? Furthermore, this dissertation will focus
only on the people who use their traditional bank website services, in France. The
researcher used in this study the term “online banking services” to reference services
delivered online by the traditional retail banks.

The main purpose of the present dissertation is:


To identify effectiveness gaps in use of online banking services between older

people and young people.


To assess the perception of online banking services from French users towards

the importance of physical contact at bank level.


To analyse whether French people are ready to switch from Click-and-Mortar

to Pure Player bank.

14


1.3

Motivation for the study

The inspiration of this study is from personal interest in the financial area, especially
the banking institutes, where I worked as internship for more than one year.
Furthermore, the adoption of the online banking services has significantly increased in
the recent years. During my internship period in a financial institute, I saw that
customers come less and less in the bank branch and did most of their transactions
through the bank website. Therefore, people wonder whether the Internet banking will
substitute the traditional banking, this motivates the researcher to get an in-depth
investigation.

The researcher hopes that this dissertation could provide some useful perspective to
managers on banks future strategy and recommendations will be given according to
the research result.

1.4

Research questions

The present study attempts to answer the following research question:


Are the traditional retail banks are competitive towards the Internet banking in

France?


Does the CRM have a positive impact on the customer loyalty in traditional

banking?

15


1.5

Research hypotheses

The research hypotheses for this research are:


Customer relationship management increase the quality of online banking

services.


Service quality enhance customer‟s satisfaction



Customer satisfaction positively impact on customer loyalty

1.6

Approach to the Dissertation

This paper of research has been approached in mainly three stages. Firstly analysis of
the relevant literature review in order to have an over view of the subject area.

Then primary data were collected using quantitative technique. This study employed
electronic questionnaires. The researcher was sent an email with a hyperlink of her
questionnaire to her friends, relatives and colleagues who use online banking services.
Those people were asked to do in the same way. The hyperlink of the questionnaire
were also put in the social and professional website (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn)
and online banking services users were invited to contribute for completing the
questionnaire. Moreover, the researcher also put the questionnaire on the Internet
forums. In total 84 questionnaire were completed. The population targeted was in the
age over 16 years of age.

After that, conclusion was draw and recommendation was given based on the analyses
of the primary and secondary research.
16


1.7

Limitation of the research

Due to time constraint, the researcher was limited in the number of respondents. The
researcher proceeded with the electronic questionnaire. Thus, responses from people
aged over 46 were very low, because they have less knowledge of how to use
information technology. Therefore the majority of respondents were people aged
between 16 to 45 years.

The researcher was staying in Dublin throughout the dissertation period, she was not
able to give the administrate questionnaire to people who were not Internet users, such
as the majority of older adults, although some older people responded through the
Internet that is was less than the researcher‟s expectation.
This study covered mainly French people speaking English as the questionnaire were
in English. Therefore, the sample may not be representative of the whole French
people.

1.8

Major contribution of the Study

Today, the bank has chosen to focus on a relationship of trust and transparency in
order to attract new customers and continue the existing customer's retention efforts.
Their actual strategic axes are to have a personalized offer, a multi-channel digital
approach and managing the evolution of clients.

Thus, in this way, the researcher wishes that the study could contribute to the bank
managers in France in order to help them in their actual strategy and the orientation of
17


their future strategy. However the study could also be useful for bank managers in
other countries.

1.9

Overview of the following chapters

Chapter Two present relevant literature reviews for this study. First, section 2.1
explains what the relationship is in the business context. Then, following presents an
over view of the relationship marketing and the customer relationship management
system. After that, it explores the relationship on the banking industry and its
importance to improve the quality of service, responds to customer expectation in
order to gain customer satisfaction and customer loyalty, and thus to have a positive
effect on the benefits of the companies. Among this chapter, older adults and the use
of IT systems are also discussed in order to explore the “digital divide”.
Chapter Three explains the research tools adopted and provides a profile of the
research subjects.
Chapter Four presents the research results and findings based on the primary data
research conducted throughout this study.
Chapter Five include a discussion of the findings of this study, their conclusions and
recommendations.
Chapter Six. And the final chapter adopt an analysis of the researcher self-reflection
on learning processes. The chapter six will also evaluate learning outcomes throughout
the whole BMA programme.

18


CHAPTER 2: LITERATURE REVIEW

19


CHAPITER 2
LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter embraces relevant literature in order to provide secondary data for this
research project. The chapter is divided into various sections. The first section starts to
explain what a relationship focus on the marketing is. Section 2.2 will present an
overview of the relationship marketing, follow by the Customer relationship
Management and its‟ use on banking sector. Section 2.4 discusses the trends of aging
population and the IT adoption issue. This literature chapter will finish with service
quality and customer relationship management practice, customer expectation,
customer satisfaction and customer loyalty.

2.1

What is a relationship?

Relationship is around us at each life level, such as in the workplace, domestic and
social place. According Gay et al. (2007) relationships are formed through experiences
with individuals or inside groups. Gummesson (2002) considered that relationships are
the core of human behaviour. However, this study is orientated to relationships in
business context thus relationships were defined differently in their objectives and
processes than a personal relationship. Damkuvienė and Virvilaitė (2007) conducted a
study in the relationship concept and found various definition of relationship in
business context from different authors (see Figure 2.1).

20


Figure 2.1: The basic elements and conceptions of relationship
Relationship conception

Authors, year

Basic elements

Scientist Authors
Relationship is an interaction of

Hakansson and

Interdependence

mutually committed sides. Relationship

Snehota, 1995

Commitment

develops during a particular time and is

Interactions

a chain sequence of particular actions
(episodes of interaction).
A true relationship reflects a situation

Liljander and

Interdependence

when both sides make commitments to

Stranvik (1995)

Commitment

each other. The minimum requirement is

Repeated interactions

to purchase services at least two times.
Relationships develop during a
particular period of episodes.
If an organization does not feel any

Liljander and

Interdependence

consumer response based on his

Stranvik (1995)

(response)

A mutual dependence is a must, but it is

Spekman and

Interdependence

not the only sufficient condition in order

Johnston (1986); Mutual, long-lasting,

a relationship could exist.

Dwyer et al.

continuous, dynamic

Relationships are defined as long-

(1987); Gadde

interactions

lasting, dynamic and continuous

and Mattsson

interactions.

(1987)

Relationship is a succession of

Barnes (1995)

behavior or attitude, after the
organization has made direct marketing
attempts, it means that no relationship is
present.

Interdependence

continuous and long-lasting interactions.

Exclusiveness

However, successful interactions may

Value

not necessarily end up with a
relationship, as mutual understanding
should exist, signifying a special status,
valued by both sides.
21


Relationship is something that develops

Bhattacharya

Interdependence

through mutually beneficial exchanges.

and

Individualization of

In order a relationship could exist

Bolton (2000)

an offer (condition of

the individualization (differentiation) of

interaction)

an offer, closeness to a consumer that is

Emotional bond

emotions, which are experienced
through an individualized service,
mutual interaction and continuous
periods are necessary.
Scholars Authors
The existence of true relationship needs

Hinde (1979)

an apparent mutual dependence,

Interdependence as a
symmetry of roles

meaning that both sides have to act,
form and reform relationships.
Marketing relationships are processes

Grönroos (1994)

that are achieved through a mutual

Interdependence
Promise keeping

exchanges and promise keeping.
Relationship cannot be explained
applying the concept of exchange
because it is too narrow. If a
relationship, based on trust, develops,
exchange occurs from time to time.
Relationships have to be meaningful

Fournier (1998)

(significant) for both sides.

Meaningfulness,
importance

Source: Damkuvienė and Virvilaitė (2007)

In generally, the relationship exists only when the supplier and buyer know each other
(Little and Marandi, 2003), although among various definitions of relationship from
various authors in scholarly (Figure 2.1), relationship concept may be interpreted in

22


two ways: behaviour relationship and perception relationship (Damkuvienė and
Virvilaitė, 2007).

Relationship through behaviour approach considered relationship as repeated
interactions with an organization and Little and Marandi (2003) added that this
behaviour provides mutual benefit and perceived by both parties as a relationship,
while relationship through perception approach give more importance of emotional
bonds with an organization.

Therefore, relationship is creating throughout long-term development, trust and mutual
commitment (Garbarino and Johnson, 1999; Varey, 2002; Little and Marandi, 2003;
Batterley, 2004;) but also interdependence (Grönroos, 1994) with an organization.

In the marketing, there are many types and categories of relationship. Little and
Marandi (2003) pointed out that Morgan and Hunt (1994) outline four categories and
ten types of relationship, while Gummesson (1999) outline thirty types of relationship.
Thus relationships marketing involves more than just customers, although in this
study, the researcher focused on customer relationship.

The idea of relationships between B to B and B to C has become central to modern
marketing (Palmer, 2011). The relational approach is often referred to relationship
marketing, which has grown over the past two decades (Persson, 2011). The main
objective is to establish, maintain and enhance relationships with customers for mutual
benefit and strength customer loyalty. Palmer (2011) views the relationship as an
expectation of future transaction.
23


Now companies are paying more attention to keep existing customers for long-term,
whereas finding a new customer was more important than paying attention to existing
customers. Indeed, attracting a new costumer might cost five times more than to retain
an existing customer (Kotler, 2005). Therefore, companies shift from a transaction
orientation to a relationship orientation.

2.2

Relationship Marketing

Banks adopted the Relationship Marketing (RM), which is considered opposite to
Traditional Marketing (TM) as TM (marketing mix) focuses on how to get new
customers while RM is more oriented on how to keep existing customers. Gummesson
(2002) defined Relationship Marketing as “marketing based on interaction within
networks of relationships”.

There is still no universally agreed definition of Relationship Marketing (RM).
However, a universally theory was agreed. According to Gronroos (1994) the main
objective of RM is “to establish, maintain and enhance relationships with customers
and other partners, at a profit so that the objectives of the parties involved are met.
This is achieved by mutual exchange and fulfilment of promises.” (Little and Marandi
(2003) The relationship marketing‟s focus is to develop relationship with individual
customers - one to one marketing and also by making offers on-measure. This
approach is a contribution of new technologies. (Berry and Parasuraman, 1991;
Johnston and Clark, 2005; Chimote and Srivastava, 2011)

24


Johnston and Clark (2005) claimed that only a good marketing alone would not
develop relationships with customers. Loyal and valuable customers are created when
a level of service is delivered and satisfies customers. In the financial service area,
customers may be loyal but not have a relationship with the organization. Moreover,
many customers do not wish to create a relationship with their bank.

Therefore, relationship Marketing is not suitable for all customers. Gronroos (2000)
cited by Little and Marandi (2003), observes that there are two categories of customer
in the business relationship: Transactional customers and active or passive relational
customers (see figure 2.2). Transactional customers may not necessarily wish to create
relationship with supplier while relational customer appreciates relationship. Therefore
it is necessary to distinguish between the different categories of customer in order to
target effective marketing. That is why the Customer Relationship Management was
adopted.

Figure 2.2: Relational and transactional customers
Customer’ expectations and reactions

Customer mode

Transactional customers are looking for
solutions to their needs at an acceptable
Transactional mode

price, and they do not appreciate contact
from the supplier or service provider
between purchases.
Active relational customers are looking

Active relational mode
for opportunities to interact with the

25


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